Friday, October 31, 2008

Something Wicked!

So- this last weekend I got the opportunity to spend a few hours with a friend. She is amazing with whipped lard- like a genious with a pastry bag I tell ya. She makes the most beautiful cakes and cookies- and does it in like 2 1/2 seconds like its these little sweeties. She carved them out of some exotic sugary something and then used them to decorate the coolest halloween cake. I should show a picture, but we ate it. These little pumpkins are all that's left. I can't bear the thought to throw them away- so they are just sitting on my kitchen counter.
She also buys her frosting by the bucket. She's my hero.
I somehow got her roped into donating 100 cupcakes to a childrens center. And amazingly enough- she is still my friend. And the best part- she asked if I could come and help her. She needed my help. My help. Be still my heart.
She has seen my talent, she knows I too could be a wizard with frosting : ) I was excited.
Turns out, she just wanted company. I wasn't really permitted to touch anything important, and my creative input was, well, not needed. After all, anyone who has carving tools for frosting wouldn't really gain much from me. Crushed ego aside, I still LOVED hanging out.
But here's the thing. It took like 3 hours to bake 100+ cupcakes. I lost count on the total, but it was ALOT. She was not overwhelmed- I was floored. Cupcakes were everywhere. And after hours of baking, I was worried about getting them all decorated.
Once cooled- she loaded her gun, um I mean icing bag, and in like 4.5 minutes they were all decorated. Pow, Pow, Pow! And not just smeared frosting around- pretty little pumpkins on top of a white swirly google.
And then it happened- I got to make the swirly curlies on the pumpkins. Yup- she gave me the green frosting bag and off I went. I am not the swirly curliest decorator on the planet. And some of them actually looked right. I was so proud- and she was too.
I wish I would have snapped a picture of all those cupcakes before I dropped them off. My swirls would have taken your breath away. And the sprinkles- oooh la la!
So yesterday- feeling all inspired I whipped up a couple dozen cupcakes myself. Armed with a magazine full of ideas, a couple things swiped from various websites and four colors of icing- off I went. And here is what happened:
I am not her, and I never will be. And she is laughing at me right now, I can hear her. But this is as good as it gets here- and I was pleased to offer them to my family. (They are one eyed purple people eaters people- quit wondering).
I did discover though, that this little gem works WONDERS when decorating cakes. I'm just kidding. But it does make you wonder why on earth I came acrossed it in the kitchen?

So what this all boils down to is that my friend has got it and I don't. But- look what I do have:

Eat your heart out Rebecca! It must keep you up at night knowing one of your alphabet letters is missing. Everyone can not be as good as me : )

Happy trick or treating!

Happy Halloween!

It's just shy of 9am on Halloween morning, and here's Emily already asking if it's time to trick or treat. Yup, gonna be a long day for this little one.This is her 'original' costume- Abby Cadabby (Sesame Street). After we bought this, she declared she wanted to be an ice cream cone. So we have that costume now too. Who knows what she'll be by tonight- we'll just have to wait and see.But whatever it is, I bet she'll be wearing these beauties. Try not to run over any small children as you bolt to you nearest Disney store- are they not too cute! (And yes Ronda- they do have them in Maddies size!)
Did I mention Sam has already hit Emi with his Halloween bucket this morning?
"Who me?"Last night we carved our pumpkins. Everyone gets to pick their 'face' for their pumpkin. And Allyson is actually old enough to do the cutting herself.
Sam just wanted holes poked in his- he did most of it himself with a screwdriver. Just a polkadot pumkin I guess.And here is the one picture we managed to take at last weekends Halloween dinner/party at church. Allyson is the mummy, Sam is a lion and here is Emi as her ice cream cone. The kids had such a good time.
I wonder which of these little ones will date each other in about 10-15 years???? Strawberry shortcake and the ghoul? The princess and the power ranger? The flower and the lion? It will be interesting to wait and see! All I know is I feel blessed to have all of these little people and their parents in our lives!
Happy Halloween! More to come later today, I'm sure!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Decision 2008

In an effort to help the kids understand all of the election hub-ub, we are having a mock election in our home.We have two very excited candidates- and so far no mud slinging at all (nice for a change!) There are 5 topics, each of them very important to our family, and we've had our first 'official' debate. And also in this picture is my 'official' laundry basket, nice.

The topics are:
1. The choice of what will be prepared for dinner one evening
2. The choice of where to sit one Sunday at church
3. The choice of restaurant for lunch out that Sunday after church
4. What game to play for family game night
5. The choice of what movie to see next time we go to the theater

Technically, we should vote for presidents instead of topics, but I want them both to get to experience the victory. So we will vote on each individual topic. They will be president of that item, I suppose. (Yes- I'm one of 'those' moms, who likes everyone to be a winner- stop it.)
Presidential candidate Allyson distributed these nice favors- hoping to swing our votes. I think it may have worked for Sam, he got a candy bracelet in his bag.
That is, until the other candidate passed out her vote buys, oh- I mean gifts. I got a fabulous piggy bank, Sam a digital camera and Dan lucked out with a bridal bouquet. Yep, some super serious campaigning going on that night. Amazing how they instantly went to buying votes, isn't it? Then for their speeches. Allyson took a firm stand on all five topics. She presented only the facts, straight forward and very serious.
"And if you vote for me, we will have lunch at Chucke Cheeses, where a kid can be a kid. They have pizza and breadsticks, and lots of fun games and stuff to do. And we'll get each play for five hours."

And, as is important with any campaign, the candidates took a moment to meet with their constituents. Allyson took the opportunity to talk with 'Sam the Truck Driver' and offer him a fancy hand stamp.
He seems thrilled, and since this is actually super duper ink- it will remain a constant reminder for Sam long until the election is over. But I'm not sure it will sway his vote from Chucke Cheese- Emily's probably going to get his support on that one.
I should have set guidelines, like 'no chucke cheeses'. Live and learn.
We will have our election on election day. Allyson is antsy for another debate, so we'll have to set one up before Tuesday.
A friend this week (oh- you know who you are :) referred to me as an 'uninformed voter'. Made me think for a moment. I've never really taken a 'firm' stand as far as political parties go. I tend to listen to what everyone has to say and try to make a decision based on that.
Problem with that is that no one is really saying anything, as far as I can tell. They talk and talk and talk, but I never really hear the point of their story. They tell stuff about each other, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what they say about themselves.
I guess she's right, I'm an uninformed voter. And a Libra. So that's even worse. And with my lack of decision making ability, and my compassion to everyone, well I really don't stand a chance. I tend to side with everyone most of the time, you could talk me into just about anything as I have a hard time picking black or white.
Unless I'm in a 'mood'. When my 'mood' strikes- then I am evil and extremely opinionated.
So, watch out next Tuesday, as I am heading to the polls- twice! Better get to praying, I have some serious decisions to make.
One final note- Allyson said she is going to vote for some of Emily's choices. "She's got some pretty cool ideas" she said. How sweet.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pot Head!

With any hope at all, and many many prayers too, this will be the last time I refer to my little Sam as a pot head. But this morning, he is very obviously one.
With only 3 days until Halloween, I have to ask myself WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED! They haven't even trick or treated yet, and we have (had-Sam has obviously dumped it out in the living room) an entire witches pot full of high fructose corn syrup laden treats! By the way-how, in the real world, are we really supposed to 'avoid high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils at all cost'? We'll touch on that at a later date.For today, Sam is doing his part to empty the pot and make way for Friday's loot. 5 suckers at a time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A good day

I have been really struggling with my mom having cancer. I find myself just saying that word over and over in my head, cancer. That ugly, nasty, thing that has crept into our world, and now into my family. Cancer. But I haven't really wanted to talk about it. Still don't really.

The final word is that it is over, and it was in fact a good day. They were able to remove my moms entire breast, which in turn removed the cancer, and it had not spread into her lymph nodes. Praise God. So despite the part where they had to do major surgery on my mom, on my birthday, it was a good day. Good news anyway. Just the birthday present I had hoped for, my mom is going to be 'fine'. And she's home now.

Off to another topic- Sam and his multiple personalities, uh I mean, Halloween Costumes.

One day he wants to be a monkey. The next day it's a lion. Today- an elephant. "All you have to do is make me some ears and tail, mom" he says.

I am no Martha Stuart son. The sewing machine is not my friend. Tacky glue and felt are about all the mediums I have to work with. And even that will take some time!
Pick an animal- and stick with it. I can only make so many trips to the fabric store to buy felt!

I actually splurged this year and bought the monkey costume at Old Navy. Now I get to return it. Which some 16 year old sale clerk will tell me it's unreturnable- no doubt- and I'll get to keep it.

Truth is- I really LOVE watching the kids pick what they want to dress up as for Halloween. The fact that Sam has an idea and his own opinions this year is really exciting to me. And I don't really care what he is- I will just feel better when I know I at least have it ready for him to wear. Which is difficult when mr. indecisive won't settle on something. We'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Be specific:

This morning- in a scurry to get everyone ready to bolt out the door- I ran by Emi's room and saw her getting dressed. And accessorized, by the way. I reminded her that it is chilly outside and she'll need some tights. Note to self: be more specific.
And yes- I did in fact take her to preschool just like this.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Surprise- it's just and apple lantern. Mom came down last week and helped Emily carve it. It lived in our bathroom till it's friends the fruit flies came to visit it- then it had to go. Mom always let us carve apple lanterns prior to halloween as kids- it helped to make waiting to carve the pumpkin possible.
Speaking of pumpkins................................

I love the Fall. It is my favorite time of the year. It is why Dan and I choose to get married in October, it is just my absolute best most wonderful time of the whole year. I also think that is why God sent my first child in October. It just keeps getting better.
These are just some various photos from a visit to the pumpkin patch. Really- it's more like a pumpkin yard. Notice no mud or vines. Just pumpkins strategically placed in a field and a haywagon ride to get there. Whatever, it was still fun.
We had to go there and get pumpkins- even though we grew them all summer long. All we had was pumpkin blossoms. Not one single pumpkin tried to grow. What is up with that. Here these people have pumkins mushrooming out of the grass- and my garden is pumkinless.

And off to another subject (this has got to be my worst post EVER- talk about scatterbrained)- October is breast cancer awareness month. Check your boobs ladies. And pray for my mom please. Her surgery this week is weighing on me this morning. Not because I'm not faithful, just because I love her.

Why is it that as women we have to deal with pantyhose, eyelash curlers, fingernail polish, menstruation, underwires AND breast cancer. It's not easy being a girl. Nope- not at all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Once Upon a Time....................

Once upon a time, long long ago in 1996 a man and a very young girl became married. She was just like the woman in this picture- only thinner and less tired. And the man was like this man, only with more hair.
They had brand new household things courtesy of family and friends and lots of bridal showers, a home they bought together, and ideas about what the future would hold. They were ready for life as grown married people.
They could have never seen the future. For in just 12 short years, they have moved homes, switched jobs, bought a minivan (and actually like it), said goodbye to many loved ones, born children, scrubbed puke out of carpet and absorbed all of the burdens that 'growing up' tends to shower upon young couples. And all of their brand new things, have become old and used. Much like them : )
And I would never, ever change a single day of it.
Happy Anniversary Dan.
(These are our pictures we took of ourselves. Because we are corny. But as you think about how stupid we look- remember that within 1 hour of these pictures being taken- we were eating dinner, in a restaurant, with real dishes, and martinis. Not a single high chair. And I picked not a single piece of food up off of the floor when we were finished. Don't look too stupid now, do we????)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

That's it!

That's it! I've had it! I quit! I'm done! I'm not doing this anymore!

I'm not sure what is going on, but we are all on edge. Is it the moon, the rain, the barometer, the season, the pending time change, my lurking hormonal rage as I prepare for Aunt Flo's visit (sorry- it is a reality and must be addressed), but whatever it is I can only take a minute more and then I am leaving. Leaving I said.

It is my sincere thought that God makes mothers so exhausted at the end of the day that they contemplate sleeping in their clothes (and shoes) only so that they don't run screaming. Don't judge me. You have all wanted to run screaming. And if you haven't, no need to point it out, I already feel like I'm falling short.

Some days are blissful. And on those days I have got IT going on. Dinner in the crock pot, laundry folded and put away, dog bathed, yard toys in yard toy bin, lid on sandbox, van freshly vacumed, fresh fruit for snacks, perhaps a shower and teeth brushed- GOING ON! But on days that are, well, less than blissful, we have extreme chaos. No doubt it is my fault, but it's like a giant lie- once you are in it is awefully difficult to get out of.

My focus is off. I am trying to finish up various projects this week and I can not focus on much else. That is why my counter is sticky, my garbage disposal needs 'freshening', my laundry is being done on an 'as needed' basis, the lawn is over grown, and my children are bickering!

For a little while, they were tricked into thinking helping with the preparations was 'fun'. Now- not so much. They've taped, blown, colored, and stuck their last sticker! They want full blown mommy entertainment or it's all going to come down.

Meanwhile, there are items to be baked for the church bake sale, pringles cans that need covered in paper for carnival games, clothes that need priced for the 'stuff sale', household items that need organized for the church yardsale, carnival prizes to be bought, balloons to be inflated, games that need set up and signs that desperately need well created artwork for 'said' sales. And it is all going down in the next 48 hours. Time for some serious Mojo.

I am going to slap on some mascara, pop a few pills (prescription drugs and perhaps a midol- get your minds out of the gutter), suck down a last cup of coffee and kick some serious bootie! I unquit. I can do this.

Meanwhile- here is Emily and her 'new' glasses. These are her 'forever pair'. The right ones. The ones we initially selected when they ordered the incorrect ones.
And this is Emily and her new glasses, her 'dora uniform', and a 10 commandment bowling game.
And this is her brother, the one who keeps knocking down her bowling pins everytime she sets them up and turns around to get the ball. He is hiding- because he knows his actions are evil.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Kinda Day!

We had the opportunity to spend the day at Kings Island this past Sunday. (Disclosure- read carefully: I have included way too many photos in this post, so if you are not in the mood for lots of blurry off center photos, turn away now. You have been warned)
At one point in the day, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
I LOVED having the whole day just to let the kids have fun.
No agenda, schedule or plan- just whatever they wanted to do all day long.

Allyson is so good (when they are not fighting) with these little guys. And they ADORE her!
Looking up as we walked in from lunch and seeing this made my heart go pitter pat.

Allyson and Daddy were too cool to ride the Azule Train with us- their loss!
We split apart off and on during the day so that Allyson could ride some of the 'bigger' kid rides. So this is really one of the few photos I got of her. Any rides that Dan or I took her to we got to ride with her- so no pictures.
Fast forward 80 years- can you imagine these two puttering along? Probably still bickering and fussing with each other? My hope would be Sam would no longer reach over and pull her hair or hit her- but who knows. These two crack me up.
Oh, we are in big trouble. This woman with her wiles was mesmerizing my sweet little man. He fell asleep while she was painting his little lion face. But he woke up to 'roar!' at himself in the mirror. Before Dan even got the lady paid, he was asking for a wet wipe because he didn't want the 'tiger on his face' anymore.

Being the good parents that we are, we said no. But he forgot about it, and wore it the rest of the day.
Emily and Allyson are another story- they wanted to leave them on and wear them to school- forever. A trip to the bath at home remedied that!
These two laughed so hard on this ride. They loved it!
Sam called this ride "Little Bills House"- close enough. We got Allyson to ride it with us- and she was thrilled.
After a big day at the amusement park, here we are, tired, sunkissed, painted and ready to head for home. Amazingly enough, Sam was the only one who fell asleep on the drive home.
Just a side note- Paramount no longer owns Kings Island, it's now a Cedar Fair park or something along those lines. So now, when you enter the gates, there is no longer the 'happy kings island' music along the fountains. They now just play rock n roll music from the 70's. Don't get me wrong, I like rock n roll from the 70's- but as we were having the picture taken I realized how much I miss the 'happy' music they used to play.
It was my kind of day. Fun for everyone! I am so grateful that we got to go.